HomeBase MetalsFirst Quantum intensifies DRC legal battle

First Quantum intensifies DRC legal battle

First Quantum’s
Frontier copper
mine in the DRC
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 October 2010 – Canadian-based exploration, development and mining company First Quantum Minerals Limited has launched another leg of its legal battle against the withdrawal of licences for copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), filing an international arbitration case for its Frontier mine.

The company already has two other legal processes underway regarding its loss of permits for the disputed Kolwezi assets, including a lawsuit against Kazakh mining group ENRC, which purchased the rights for that project.

First Quantum suspended operations at its Frontier mine last month after being stripped of its exploration permit, a move it said was retribution for entering into arbitration over Kolwezi.

“Today we are launching another important part of the ongoing pursuit of our legal rights relating to our investments in the DRC,” First Quantum president Clive Newall said in a statement issued here. “We are determined to achieve a just outcome and to uphold the standards of good governance, not only for our shareholders, but also for the Congolese people,” he added.

A case against the DRC government has been filed at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington D.C. The action seeks the return of mining permits and assets, as well as demanding compensation for damages, but First Quantum did not give any figures.